Friday, November 21, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Friday, November 14, 2014
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)
Sunday, November 9, 2014
-- Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh (1887-1963)
Friday, November 7, 2014
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Monday, October 6, 2014
-- Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), Founder of Self-Realization Fellowship
Monday, September 1, 2014
Aarti is said to have descended from the Vedic concept of fire rituals, or homa. The word may also refer to the traditional Hindu devotional song that is sung during the ritual. Aarti is performed and sung to develop the highest love for God. "Aa" means "towards or to", and "rati" means "right or virtue" in Sanskrit.
Aarti is generally performed two to five times daily and usually at the end of a Puja or Bhajan session. It is performed during almost all Hindu ceremonies and occasions. It involves the circulating of an 'Aarti plate' around a person or deity and is generally accompanied by the singing of songs in praise of that deva or person (many versions exist). In doing so, the plate itself is supposed to acquire the power of the deity. The priest circulates the plate to all those present. They cup their down-turned hands over the flame and then raise their palms to their forehead - the purificatory blessing, passed from the deva's image to the flame, has now has been passed to devotee.
The Aarti plate is generally made of metal, usually silver, bronze or copper. On it must repose a lamp made of kneaded flour, mud or metal, filled with oil or ghee. A cotton wick is put into the oil and then lighted, or camphor is burnt instead. The plate also contains flowers, incense and Akshata.
The purpose of performing Aarti is the waving of lighted wicks before the deities in a spirit of humility and gratitude, wherein faithful followers become immersed in God's divine form. It symbolizes the five elements: 1) space (Akash), 2) wind (Vayu), 3) light (Tej), 4) water (Jal), and 5) earth (Pruthvi). Communal Aarti is performed in the mandir; however, devotees also perform it in their homes.
-- Sri Ramana Maharishi (1879-1950), South Indian mystic
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Very nice slice show at "source."
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
-- Sri Chinmoy, renowned spiritual leader, author, poet, artist, musician and athlete
Thursday, July 24, 2014
The researchers developed a uniform methodology that they were able to apply to all five livestock categories and to four measures of environmental performance. As a result, beef comes out clearly as the food animal with the biggest environmental impact. As well as the effects on land and water, cattle release five times more greenhouse gas and consume six times more nitrogen than eggs or poultry.
"The overall environmental footprint of beef is particularly large because it combines a low production efficiency with very high volume," said Prof. Mark Sutton, from the UK's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. "The result is that the researchers estimate that over 60% of the environmental burden of livestock in the US results from beef. Although the exact numbers will be different for Europe (expecting a larger role of dairy), the overall message will be similar: Cattle dominate the livestock footprint of both Europe and US."
Cutting down on beef can have a big environmental impact they say. But the same is not true for all livestock.
"One can reasonably be an environmentally mindful eater, designing one's diet with its environmental impact in mind, while not resorting to exclusive reliance on plant food sources," said Prof Eshel.
"In fact, eliminating beef, and replacing it with relatively efficiency animal-based alternatives such as eggs, can achieve an environmental improvement comparable to switching to plant food source."
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Thursday, June 12, 2014
UNITED KINGDOM, 05 June, 2014 (by Sarah Knapton, The Telegraph): A person's entire immune system can be rejuvenated by fasting for as little as three days as it triggers the body to start producing new white blood cells, a study suggest. Researchers say fasting "flips a regenerative switch" which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells.Although fasting diets have been criticized by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection. Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy. It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common disease. "It gives the 'OK' for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system," said Prof Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California.
Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells. Scientists found that prolonged fasting also reduced the enzyme PKA, which is linked to aging and a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumor growth. "We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system," added Prof Longo. However, some British experts were skeptical of the research. Dr Graham Rook, emeritus professor of immunology at University College London, said the study sounded "improbable."
Chris Mason, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at UCL, said: "I have received emails from hundreds of cancer patients who have combined chemo with fasting, many with the assistance of the oncologists. Thus far the great majority have reported doing very well and only a few have reported some side effects including fainting and a temporary increase in liver markers. Clearly we need to finish the clinical trials, but it looks very promising."
Sunday, June 8, 2014
-- Krishna Yajur Veda, Svetasvatara Upanishad 3.11
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), disciple of Sri Ramakrishna
Monday, May 26, 2014
Life is meant for God-realization. If you die without attaining God-realization, your life is in vain. Even having one hundred gurus will not help, unless the disciple has a great desire for liberation and tries to get rid of all that stands in the way.
-- Swami Chidananda (1916-2008), President of Divine Life Society
Kalra added, "Given the prevalence of such incidents, the U.S. Department of State must change its policy towards Pakistan and designate it as a 'Country of Particular Concern' for its ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom. A CPC designation is necessary and will help expedite long-overdue reforms, while furthering our national interests in promoting secular democracy and moderate forces in Pakistan." Abductions and forced conversions were among several issues covered in the Foundation's latest report, entitled Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2013. The report documented the challenges facing Hindus and other similarly situated minorities in ten countries/regions around the world within the context of domestic legal frameworks and international human rights law.
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Pakistan, in particular, were censured as Egregious Violators for either engaging in or allowing rampant and systematic human rights violations to take place against their minority populations. The report also detailed conditions in Bhutan, the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, and Sri Lanka, which were designated as Countries of Serious Concern, as well as those labelled as Monitored Countries, including Fiji, Saudi Arabia, and Trinidad and Tobago. It further highlighted HAF's on-the-ground fact-finding missions and direct relief projects with refugee populations.
"From discriminatory constitutional injunctions and laws, to widespread restrictions on religious freedom, to violence and discrimination, the human rights and fundamental civil liberties of religious minorities are coming under increasing attack from both state and non-state actors in many of these countries," said Kalra. "It is imperative that the international community and the U.S. urgently address this unrestrained denial of basic human rights."
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Friday, May 9, 2014
-- Swami Dayananda Saraswati (1825-1883), Hindu reformer
Thursday, May 1, 2014
-- Swami Chidananda (1916-2008), President of Divine Life Society
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Friday, April 11, 2014
There once lived a very godly man in a village. He was a gentle soul who always wished everyone well. But some of the villagers wanted to humiliate the holy man. They gathered some discarded, beat up old shoes and strung them together with thread, fashioning a sort of shoe garland. When the holy man was out one day, they hung the garland above the door to his house.
They thought, "This crazy fellow is always intoxicated with God; he won't even notice what we have done. When the shoes hit him on the head, we will all enjoy a good laugh." Sure enough, when Venkatnath was about to enter his house, the shoe garland fell on his head. The culprits expected the holy man to be enraged by this and to come after them. Instead, he started laughing and said, "My Lord! You are so merciful to me. You have given me the foot-dust of your devotees as protection."
When someone insults you, there are two possible reactions you can have. You can lash out at the offender, or you can gain something positive from the experience. If there were no opposition in your life, you would never be tested. And if you are never tested, how can you gauge your level of spiritual progress? If you remain calm despite there being every reason in the world for you to get angry, you have succeeded. If you refuse to hate despite there being a valid reason to hate, you have won. You should not desire for life to be free of tests. These tests prove our true mettle and shape us into better individuals.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
-- Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society
Friday, April 4, 2014
Friday, March 28, 2014
UNITED KINGDOM, March 24, 2014 (BBC): A stunning manuscript of the great Hindu epic, the Ramayana, is brought together by the British Library for the first time in 150 years. The 17th century manuscript was split between Britain and India in the early 19th century and has been reunited in digital form by the British Library and the CSMVS Museum in Mumbai. It is considered one of the most beautiful versions of the Ramayana, produced in the 17th century for the royal court in Rajastan.
Slideshow at source.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)
Thursday, March 6, 2014
-- Mataji Indra Devi
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
-- Akka Mahadevi, twelfth-century Vira Saiva saint
Friday, February 28, 2014
-- Swami Omkarananda, (1930-2000), founder of Omkarananda Ashram
Shiva and Durga: Their Real Identity
By Stephen Knapp
The word ‘Purusha’ means God Almighty. This Suktam is in praise of the
glory of God. It is chanted in houses, places of worship during rituals and
ceremonies. Reciting this confers blessings on one’s life. This mantra is chanted
by Rishis before performing Yagna so that there are no obstacles or intermissions
during the Yagna
Download Here: https://app.box.com/s/493hysbuemm1mbeuds1e
Or here: http://www.sathyasaiottawa.org/pdf/Vedam/Purusha_Suktam.pdf
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Maha Shivaratri 2014 - http://www.drikpanchang.com/festivals/maha-shivaratri/maha-shivaratri-date-time.html
Shivaratri is great festival of convergence of Shiva and Shakti. Chaturdashi Tithi during Krishna Paksha in month of Magha is known as Maha Shivaratri according to South Indian calendar. However according to North Indian calendar Masik Shivaratri in month of Phalguna is known as Maha Shivaratri. In both calendars it is naming convention of lunar month which differs. However both, North Indians and South Indians, celebrate Maha Shivaratri on same day.
Vrat Vidhi – One day before Shivaratri Vratam, most likely on Trayodashi, devotees should eat only one time. On Shivaratri day, after finishing morning rituals devotees should take Sankalp (संकल्प) to observer full day fast on Shivaratri and to take food next day. During Sankalp devotees pledge for self-determination throughout the fasting period and seek blessing of Lord Shiva to finish the fast without any interference. Hindu fasts are strict and people pledge for self-determination and seek God blessing before starting them to finish them successfully.
On Shivaratri day devotees should take second bath in the evening before doing Shiva Puja or visiting temple. Shiva Puja should be done during night and devotees should break the fast next day after taking bath. Devotees should break the fast between sunrise and before the end of Chaturdashi Tithi to get maximum benefit of the Vrat. According to one contradictory opinion devotees should break the fast only when Chaturdashi Tithi gets over. But it is believed that both Shiva Puja and Parana (पारणा) i.e. breaking the fast should be done within Chaturdashi Tithi.
Shivaratri puja can be performed one time or four times during the night. The whole night duration can be divided into four to get four Prahar (प्रहर) to perform Shiva Puja four times. Drikpanchang.com lists all four Prahar durations for staunch Shiva devotees who perform Shiva Pujan four times in the night. We also list Nishita time when Lord Shiva appeared on the Earth in the form of Linga and the time window to break the fast on next day.
Shivaratri is also spelled as Shivratri, Shivarathri and Sivaratri.
What to do on Shivaratri day?
I find most people asking how to celebrate Shivaratri? Shivratri is the day when rituals and worship are given more importance. There is no fun or merrymaking as in other Hindu festivals. It is a day of renunciation and prayer. It is a day to realize the Brahmn and cleanse ignorance. Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Jyotirlinga on this day. A lingam which had no end and beginning and it symbolizes Brahman.
It is said that one should practice non-violence on this day. Then are things like not to lie, strict brahmacharya, be compassionate etc. But these things should be practiced on all days. So one need not wait for Shivaratri to be compassionate.
Generally most people fast on Shivaratri day by uttering the panchakshari mantra – 'om namah shivaya.' The fast is from Shivratri morning to next day morning.
Next is keeping vigil all night by worshiping Lord Shiva. Worshiping Shiva with Bilva leaves is considered highly auspicious.
If you have a Shivling at home you can keep on bathing it at night with water (avoid using milk, curd, sugar, honey and ghee). Remember, Shiva accepts anything when given with utmost devotion.
If you are unable to observe fast or keep vigil during night, you can observe the day by chanting 'om namah shivaya
Shivratri Vrat: How to Observe Fast during Mahashivratri?
On the auspicious occasion of Shivaratri, or Mahashivratri, Hindu devotees around the world observe Shivratri Vrat or Upvaas or fast. The fasting involves refraining from eating any food and not sleeping through out the night. Sivaratri literally means 'the night of Lord Shiva' and unlike other festivals associated with Hinduism there is no fun and merrymaking on the day. But the night provides an opportunity to cleanse the ignorance and realize that you are Brahman and open the door to bliss.
The day after Shivratri is Amavasi – the dark night or the no moon night. It symbolizes the evil forces – desire, greed, illusion, arrogance, jealousy, and anger – which dominate the Kaliyuga. Shiva is believed to have appeared in the form of 'Lingodabhavamurti' or Jyotir Linga on the Shivratri night. The Linga is an attempt to give form to the formless Brahmn. Praying to Shiva is to escape from miseries of Kaliyuga.
The Mahashivratri fasting begins on the morning of Shivratri and ends next day morning or the Amavasya morning. Since it is a long Upvaas or Vrat, many people consume a special meal known as 'phalar.'
Devotees wake up before sunrise and take bath and wear clean clothes.
Applying of sacred ash, or vibhuthi, is an important aspect on the day. People also wear a Rudraksha Mala.
The idols of Ganesh, Shiva and Parvati are cleaned and a lamp is lit.
Most people then visit a nearby Shiva temple. In most places, Shivratri is largely observed in temples.
Some people observing fast consume a mid-day meal consisting of non-cereal food such as boiled potatoes which is made into a curry without onion, garlic, adarak or haldi. Another food eaten on the day is pakori or Kutt Singahri ki puri.
Most devotees go for a fruit diet and drink lots of water.
No meal is eaten after sunset.
Next meal is taken on the morning of Amavasi after doing puja and giving alms.
The entire night is spend in a nearby Shiva temple or by chanting Mantras or listening to stories related to Shiva.
Some of the important mantras that are chanted on the day include: Shiva Panchakshari Mantra – Om Namah Shivaya or chanting the sacred names of Lord Shiva.
People who have a Shivling at home can bathe the Shivling with water intermittently throughout the night.
All the rituals on the night of Shivratri are meant to cleanse the ignorance and realize the Brahmn manifest in you. The fasting, rituals and chanting are meant to kill desire, greed, illusion, arrogance, jealousy, and anger. This will make you a better person and prepare you to face the challenges.
Shivratri Prayers and Mantras
Apart from fasting and keeping vigil at night, Hindu devotees also chant sacred prayers and mantras dedicated to Lord Shiva on Maha Shivratri night. In fact these mantras can be chanted on a daily basis.
Some of the Holy Siva mantras recommended for Maha Sivaratri are
Shiva Panchakshari Mantra - Om Namah Shivaya
Shiva Sakti Panchakshari Mantra - Om Hrim Namah Shivaya
Mrutyunjaya Mantra –
Om Trayambakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushti Vardhanam
Mrutyor Mukshiya Mamrutat
Shiva Gayatri Mantra –
Om tatpuruṣhaya vidmahe
Tanno rudrah prachodayat
Apart from this one can chant the 108 names or 1008 names of Lord Shiva or the 24 Sacred Names of Lord Siva.
Twenty Four Sacred Names of Shiva
1. Om maheswaraya namaha
2. Om mahadevaya namaha
3. Om sarveswaraya namaha
4. Om shivaya namaha
5. Om Shankaraya namaha
6. Om Saswataya namaha
7. Om pasupataye namaha
8. Om umapataye namaha
9. Om brahmadhipataye namaha
10. Om parameswaraya namaha
11. Om bhasmangaragaya namaha
12. Om mahesaya namaha
13. Om nityaya namaha
14. Om shuddhaya namaha
15. Om mrutyunjayaya namaha
16. Om bhutesaya namaha
17. Om mrudaya namaha
18. Om sarvaya namaha
19. Om sadashivaya namaha
20. Om bhavaya namaha
21. Om sarvajnaya namaha
22. Om bhimaya namaha
23. Om vasudevaya namaha
24. Om tripurantakaya namaha
Why is Shivratri celebrated during night?
Night usually represents evil then why is Shivaratri celebrated during night? The night after Mahashivratri is 'amavasya' (full dark night). A day when the world will be completely dark. Symbolically, nothing but only ignorance and injustice will prevail. This 'amavasya' also represents 'Kaliyuga.' Mahadev Shiva appeared just before the beginning of Kaliyuga to rid the world of ignorance and evil. This was during the night before 'amavasya.'
Therefore special worship is done before 'amavasya' to please Shiva who is the remover of darkness, evil and ignorance.
Then, almost all the legends associated with Shivaratri happened during night and this is another reason.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
-- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
Monday, February 24, 2014
Saturday, February 22, 2014
He cannot be seen by the eye, and words cannot reveal Him. He cannot be reached by the senses, or by austerity or sacred actions. By the grace of wisdom and purity of mind, He can be seen, indivisible, in the silence of contemplation. This invisible Atman can be seen by the mind wherein the five senses are resting.
-- Atharva Veda
Friday, February 21, 2014
-- Rig Veda 7.1.2
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Searching For the Infinite While Infinite Is All Around Us.
Once a small ocean fish went to an older fish and asked, ‘Excuse me, you are older than I, so can you tell me where to find this thing they call the ocean?’
‘The ocean,’ said the older fish, ‘is the thing you are in now.’
‘Oh! This? But this is just water. What I am seeking is the ocean,’ said the disappointed fish as it swam away to reach elsewhere.
The older fish exclaimed, ‘Oh little fish! What are you looking for? Just look!’
Living in the very ocean and searching for it! That is the irony of human situation — searching for the Infinite while infinite is all around us.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
-- Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal(1912-1954), 34th pontiff of the Sarada Peetham
Monday, February 10, 2014
-- Appolonius of Tiana (2-97 ce), Greek philosopher and occultist. His work deeply influenced Western mysticism.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO, January 1, 2014 (Huffingtonpost): The much hyped Smithsonian exhibit, Yoga: The Art of Transformation, is packing up to move from its primary residence in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC to spring at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and summer at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Bringing to Light Yoga's Hindu Roots (TBY) is a project the Hindu American Foundation launched in 2010 after someone at Yoga Journal confirmed that the editors intentionally avoided the term "Hindu" in describing things that were, well, Hindu, because "Yah, you know, Hinduism has a lot of baggage." The aim of the project is at getting the millions of folks who say they "do yoga" to appreciate that 1) yoga is not just asana; and 2) while yoga does not proselytize or require conversion to reap its physical and psycho-spiritual benefits, it refers to spiritual practices that are essential to the understanding and practice of Hinduism. On the whole, we found that Yoga: The Art of Transformation aligned with the two fold goal of the TBY.
During the small group session with a diverse set of advisors that included yoga teachers, yoga practitioners, yoga researchers, and others, it was indeed interesting to hear the various perspectives of what each sought from the exhibit. Some were curious about the aesthetics and flow, others were interested in the supplementary programming, while others wanted to ensure that the science behind yoga was emphasized. For me, I wanted to drive home three main points: 1) the importance of using the word "Hindu," as opposed to favored industry codewords like "Indian," "Indic," "Sanskrit," or "Vedic" (none of which are inaccurate, by the way) as a descriptor where appropriate; 2) when it came to describing the unknown -- be it origins, dates, or sources -- that a certain humility be present in the descriptors, ie. "Some scholars believe..." or "The origins are unknown, but..."; and 3) where aspects of yoga's history were still contested or debated or differed from emic Hindu perspectives, that the multiples views be honored and given space.
If you're in the San Francisco bay area this spring or Cleveland in the summer, it's definitely worth experiencing.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Inscriptions Confirm 9th Century Tamil Saint Built Temple Source INDIA, February 3, 2014 (The Hindu): Legend has it that Manickavasagar, one of the four Saivite savants, constructed the temple at Avudaiyarkoil, known as Thiruperunthurai, in Pudukottai district. Now the State Archaeology department has stumbled upon inscriptions confirming that Manickavasagar, the Minister of Pandiya King Arimarthana Pandian (862-885 ce), built the sanctum sanctorum and the kanagasabha mandapam.
"His contribution has been recorded in the form of a poem. The inscriptions, found in the Panchakshara mandapam of the temple built in the 16th century, also record that Thiruvachagam was inscribed on the walls," said G. Muthusamy, registering officer of the department in Tiruchi region.
Manickavasagar belonged to the 9th century and was said to have used the money meant for buying horses for the cavalry to construct the temple at Thiruperunthurai, one of the ports of the Pandiya Kingdom, after an encounter with Lord Siva. Manickavasagar penned Thiruvachagam and Thirupalliyezhuchi while camping in this temple and referred to it as Thiruperunthurai.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Monday, February 3, 2014
Monday, January 27, 2014
Hindu Press International
A daily news summary for news media, educators, researchers, writers and religious leaders worldwide, courtesy of Hinduism Today magazine's editorial staff
January 22, 2014 (Huffington Post): Elaborately decorated Hindu temples sing praise to the glory of God with their breathtaking architecture. Hinduism is called the world's oldest religion and many of these structures are full of history.
Slideshow at source--click the second photo to launch the slideshow.
Monday, January 20, 2014
Friday, January 17, 2014
''Let me tell you how to love all equally. Do not demand anything of those you love. If you make demands, some will give you more and some less. In that case you will love more those who give you more and less those who give you less. Thus your love will not be the same for all. You will not be able to love all impartially.'' - Maa Sarada Devi
15. Why do we worship the kalasha? (taken from the pdf link above, Sanskritdocuments.org)
First of all what is a kalasha A brass, mud or copper pot is filled with water. Mango leaves are placed in the mouth of the pot and a coconut is placed over it. A red or white thread is tied around its neck or sometimes all around it in a intricate diamond- shaped pattern. The pot may be decorated wit designs. Such a pot is known as a kalasha.
When the pot is filled with water or rice, it is known as puriiakurnbka representing the inert body which when filled with the divine life force gains the power to do all the wonderful things that makes life what it is.
A kalasha is placed with due rituals on all-important occasions like the traditional house warming (grihapravesa), wedding. daily worship etc. H is placed near the entrance as a sign of welcome. It is also used in a traditional manner while receiving holy personages. Why do we worship the kalasha? Before the creation came into being. Lord Vishnu was reclining on His snake-bed in the milky ocean. From His navel emerged a lotus from which appeared Lord Brahma. the creator, who thereafter created this world.
The water in the kalasha symbolizes the primordial water from which the entire creation emerged. It is the giver of life to all and has the potential of creating innumerable names and forms, the inert objects and the sentient beings and all that is auspicious in the world from the energy behind the universe. The leaves and coconut represent creation.
The thread represents the love that "binds" all in creation. The kalasha is therefore considered auspicious and worshipped. The waters from all the holy rivers, the knowledge of all the Vedas and the blessings of all the deities are invoked in the kalaska and its water is thereafter used for all the rituals, including the ahhisheka.
The consecration (kumbkaabkisheka) of a temple is done in a grand manner with elaborate rituals including the pouring of one or more kalashas of holy water on the top of the temple. When the asuras and devas churned the milky ocean, the Lord appeared bearing the pot of nectar. which blessed one with everlasting life.
Thus the kalaska also symbolizes immortality. Men of wisdom are full and complete as they identify with the infinite Truth poornatvam). They brim with joy and love and respect all that is auspicious. We greet them with a purnakumbha ("full pot") acknowledging their greatness and as a sign of respectful and reverential welcome, with a "full heart".
The Kalash pot is an important item in most Hindu pujas and rituals. It is also placed permanently in home and shops. There is deep symbolism associated with the Kalash pot in Hinduism. The pot is a symbol of growth, fertility and abundance. At home and in business place it is symbol of fullness, plenty and prosperity.
Vedas describe Kalash pot as a golden pitcher overflowing with honey.
The space within the Kalash is considered to be the womb and thus it represents growth and fertility.
The water in the pot is a symbol of the sacred rivers.
As per some scriptures, the mouth of the kalash represents Vishnu, the neck represents Shiva and the middle part represents Brahma.
Kalash is a metal (usually made up of copper) vessel which has a flat round at the base and is used in many Hindu rituals. Kalash is also known as Kalasha, Kalasa, Kumbha, and Ghat. Kalasha symbolizes abundance and prosperity in Hinduism. It is also used as a symbol on wedding cards in order to show the marriage between two families. Kalash is a sacred symbol for Hindus. In general, a Kalash is always placed in or near a Hindu altar and is worshipped during daily Pujas.
During the time of rituals, the Kalash is filled up with water up to the neck of the vessel and five leaves of mango and/or Nagin plant are kept at the opening of the vessel in such a way that the leaves immerse partially in the water. Some coins are placed inside the vessel. A Swastika is drawn with Kumkum on the front portion of the vessel. After this a coconut is placed on the top of the Kalash. A garland of flowers is also placed around the Kalasha.
Kalasha is worshipped mainly during Vastushanti, Grihashanti, Navratri, marriage ceremony, and other important auspicious occasions.
References to the Kalasha can be found in Rigveda. Also it is believed that Amrit (the drink of immortality) was found in the Kalasha during Samudra-Manthan. The demons stole this Amrit-Kumbha but Gods took it back from them and drank all the Amrit.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Makara Sankranti is a Hindu festival celebrated in almost all parts of India and Nepal in a myriad of cultural forms. It is a harvest festival. Makar Sankranti marks the transition of the Sun into the zodiac sign of Makara rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path.
The day is also believed to mark the arrival of spring in India and is a traditional. Makara Sankranti is a solar event making one of the few Indian festivals which fall on the same date in the Gregorian Calender every year: 14 January, with some exceptions when the festival is celebrated on 13 or 15 January
Friday, January 10, 2014
Friday, January 3, 2014
Do not be proud of wealth, people, relations and friends, or youth. All these are snatched by time in the blink of an eye. Giving up this illusory world, know and attain the Supreme.
-- Adi Shankara, 9th century Indian philosopher and saint